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Celebrities and fans honor Princess Diana's death, more than two decades later

Posted at 1:00 PM, Aug 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 16:00:51-04

(CNN) -- Humanitarian leader, fashion icon, hands-on mother, rule-breaker.

Saturday marks 22 years since the "People's Princess" died tragically young. Across the world, fans honor the anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and remember the legacy she left behind after a 1997 car crash in Paris claimed her life and shocked the world.

"22 years ago today... Remembering the beautiful mother and global icon," wrote Dancing with the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli on Twitter.

Born Lady Diana Spencer in 1961, she became an influential force on the royal family when she married Prince Charles at 20 years old.

She left her mark with many "firsts" for the royal family, breaking royal protocol often by making bold fashion choices, handling media attention fiercely, speaking out about mental illness, and being a hands-on mother to her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. She was known for her frequent criticisms of the royal family, but her fans loved her for it. Diana became a name known worldwide.

Friends who knew her and fans who love her are not the only ones who are remembering Diana on Aug. 31, 2019.

The British Red Cross honored Diana's death with a video commemorating her extensive work with the organization for 14 years.

After being married for 15 years, Diana and Prince Charles divorced. One year later, a car carrying the Princess and her boyfriend, Egyptian socialite Dodi Fayed, crashed into a tunnel close to the Eiffel Tower. After conspiracy theories and rumors about her death spread, a 2006 investigation by British police deemed the crash an accident and that the car's driver, Henri Paul, was driving intoxicated.

The anniversary of her death is being commemorated on social media by people all over the world.

Gary Barlow, former lead singer of British group Take That, posted a picture on Instagram when his group met Diana at an AIDS benefit concert at Wembley Arena in 1994.

"Princess Diana -- always in our hearts -- we were lucky enough to have the pleasure of spending some time with this amazing woman. She will always be missed," the post read.

Earlier today, American actress Jamie Lee Curtis reminisced on her almost run-in with Diana a few months before her 1997 death. She missed the princess's short visit to her movie set because she was in the bathroom. But she says she wrote Diana the next and received a handwritten reply from Kensington Palace saying she hoped they would get to meet in the future.

"I thought about her and her life and the choices she made and how brave she was," Curtis wrote on Instagram. "It gave me comfort that although her life was short, it was complete. She was a great role model for me. An example to live by. I honor her today."

Her humanitarian work with dozens of charities humanized the royal family and caught the world's attention. She famously shook the hand of a man with AIDS to help break the stigma surrounding the illness. She worked on numerous anti-land mine campaigns in Angola and Bosnia, and also traveled to other countries to visit patients suffering from leprosy and cancer.

"22 years after her death, we pay tribute to #PrincessDiana's humanitarian work with the Red Cross both in the UK and abroad," the British Red Cross wrote on Twitter.

Acorns Hospice, a charity which provides care to children in the UK, wrote, "Today we remember the very wonderful Princess Diana who did so much for so many." Diana opened the very first Acorn's Hospice in 1988.

Diana's humanitarian work has rubbed off on her royal successors, including her son Harry, who has followed in his mother's footsteps in the fight against HIV/AIDS and work in Angola.

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